Self-management

Coping and support

One important thing to do if you're an adult with congenital heart disease is to become educated about your condition. Topics you should become familiar with include:

  • The name and details of your heart condition and its past treatment
  • How often you should be seen for follow-up care
  • Information about your medications and their side effects
  • How to prevent heart infections (endocarditis), if necessary
  • Exercise guidelines and work restrictions
  • Birth control and family planning information
  • Health insurance information and coverage options
  • Dental care information, including whether you need antibiotics before major dental procedures
  • Symptoms of your congenital heart disease and when you should contact your doctor

Many adults with congenital heart disease lead full, long and productive lives. But it's important not to ignore your condition. Become informed about your disease; the more you know, the better you'll do.

April 06, 2017
References
  1. About congenital heart defects. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/CongenitalHeartDefects/AboutCongenitalHeartDefects/About-Congenital-Heart-Defects_UCM_001217_Article.jsp#.WD8pOpK8x8g. Accessed Nov. 30, 2016.
  2. Congenital heart defects. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/chd/signs. Accessed Nov. 30, 2016.
  3. Pandya B, et al. Congenital heart disease in adults. British Medical Journal. 2016;354:i3905.
  4. Guidelines for treating adults with congenital heart disease. American College of Cardiology. https://www.cardiosmart.org/Heart-Conditions/Guidelines/ACHD. Accessed Nov. 30, 2016.
  5. Living with a congenital heart defect. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/heartdefects/living.html. Accessed Nov. 30, 2016.
  6. Overview of congenital cardiovascular anomalies. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/pediatrics/congenital_cardiovascular_anomalies/overview_of_congenital_cardiovascular_anomalies.html. Accessed Dec. 1, 2016.
  7. Riggins E. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 4, 2016.